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Bitwise is about humans-those that we serve, and those that work for us too. Our team is made up of dynamic, diverse, and dedicated individuals who each contribute to our ongoing mission of connecting people to opportunities in the technology industry. From Finance to Human Resources, Building Services to Marketing, each person on the Bitwise Team is critical to helping our company operate smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
She / Her / Hers
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Irma Olguin Jr. oversees the screening and interviewing of all employment candidates and apprentices for Bitwise Industries, including that of Bitwise Workforce Training and Bitwise Technology Services. Her goal is to ensure Bitwise always remains faithful to its mission of strengthening Fresno’s tech industry and turning it into a driver of real economic progress. The idea of Bitwise was hatched in 2012 over a Red Bull (hers) and a gin and tonic (his) with her then IP attorney, Jake Soberal. Fueled by a series of aha moments, they decided they were in a unique position to build such a mechanism for progress. Previously, Irma created 59DaysOfCode, a competition highlighting and encouraging the Valleyʼs tech industry. She co-founded Hashtag, an open co-workspace for designers and developers alike. She also co-founded Edit LLC to solve efficiency and data issues in the ag industry. Irma holds a degree in computer science and engineering from University of Toledo, Ohio and has been a contributing advisor on several community boards, including 59DaysOfCode, President’s Advisory Board for California State University – Fresno, the American Red Cross (Central Valley Chapter), Kingsview Behavioral Health, and Youth Leadership Institute. Her dog, Bruce, is the king of her world and is widely recognized as the mascot for Bitwise Industries.
He / Him / His
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Jake leads Bitwise Industries in vision casting, real estate development, and strategic initiatives. Jake grew up in Clovis, California with a dream of eventually holding a national office—an aspiration that eventually turned into creating opportunity for folks of every walk of life. Prior to co-founding Bitwise, Jake practiced intellectual property law at Walter & Wilhelm Law Group in Fresno. In 2012, over drinks and aha moments with his client, Irma Olguin Jr., they excitedly discussed the possibility of a company that could nurture and network the critical components of Fresno’s tech industry and become a driving force for the local economy. At that moment, the idea of Bitwise was born. Jake believes we all have gifts to contribute—and an obligation to use them. He has teamed up with art advocacy nonprofit Creative Fresno to launch the Boomerang Project, an initiative aimed at reversing the city’s “brain drain” by connecting high-level jobs with talented individuals who’d previously moved away for greater prospects. He also helped launch “I Believe in Downtown,” a grassroots campaign for the redevelopment of downtown Fresno and investment in Fulton Street. He is an advisory board member for 59DaysOfCode and sits on the board of the Downtown Fresno Partnership and Neighborhood Industries. Closest to his heart is magnet school Hamilton K-8 (“Home of the Hurricanes”) where he and his neighbors volunteer. For Jake’s wife, Sarah, and their three school-age children, it’s a venture whose progress is measured in years instead of days. Jake holds a dual degree in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from Western State College of Law. He enjoys running, working in his yard, and spending quality time with his family.
Bethany Mily works with the management team to direct strategy, guide policy and identify goals for Bitwise and its offshoot companies, including Bitwise Technology Services. She takes the lead on strategic philanthropy initiatives, funds cutting-edge SaaS companies, and creates learning opportunities for marginalized populations through Bitwise Workforce Training programs. Previously, Bethany was the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), a project-based, technology high school in California’s Central Valley. Born and raised in Fresno, California, Bethany attended California State University, Sacramento, where she majored in English language and literature. (Inspired by her love of biographies, she also minored in criminal justice.) Bethany went on to attend National University and earned two master’s degrees, one in education and the other in educational administration and supervision. She has also helped to organize fundraising events for the Marjaree Mason Center, a Fresno-based non-profit women’s shelter that supports and empowers adults and their children affected by domestic violence.
As the Chief Growth Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations at Bitwise Industries, Channelle Charest takes the lead in support of all the teams comprising the core internal services of Bitwise. In her words, she’s “in charge of the departments responsible for dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” so that the other departments in the Bitwise ecosystem can continue to operate efficiently. Overseeing the growth of a tech company means building community, holding space, and offering executive direction when needed in order to ensure that Bitwise continues to put humans first, and create avenues for making the tech industry more accessible to underestimated communities. Channelle considers herself fortunate to be in the trenches fighting for positive change to happen in every downtown with a Bitwise office building, and the surrounding communities.
Make no mistake about it, Channelle is a renaissance woman. Graduating from Fresno State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts, she brings a wide range of talents and work experience to the table. Whether in the public sector, restaurant and hospitality services, nonprofits, or as a small business owner, every experience has brought Channelle to where she is today. Her time spent traveling the world and living in different parts of the United States has given Channelle a unique and refreshing attitude about life. When she’s not busy making sure the ins and outs of Bitwise are running smoothly, Channelle flexes her creative muscles by working as a licensed tattoo artist in the Fresno area, serving as the Chair of the Board for the Central Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as volunteering her time with other humanitarian organizations in the area. On top of all that, she also paints amazing murals.
As the Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Belden is dedicated to supporting the core functions of Bitwise Industries, including HR, Legal, Admin, External Affairs, and City Expansion. Together with department Leads, Kristin works to connect these teams to the larger strategy and vision of Bitwise. Her overall goal is to be a strong foundation of support for each department at Bitwise, creating lines of communication and collaboration that encourage healthy, empowered, and engaged teams. Kristin has worked in the media industry for over a decade, often covering arts and business. Before joining Bitwise, Kristin was a partner at Studiotobe, a home for independent storytelling, content development, and production.
Previously, she served as Chief of Staff for The Center for Investigative Reporting, combining strategic planning, business development, and project management to drive performance across the organization. She also co-launched The Bay Citizen, a local nonprofit news organization in San Francisco committed to promoting innovation in journalism and catalyzing civic engagement with the news. Kristin serves on the board at Youth Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to building communities where young people and their adult allies come together to create positive community change that promotes social justice and racial equity. When she’s not working, Kristin enjoys adventuring with her husband and two kids, snowboarding, yoga, and having a laugh with friends over a cocktail.
As Chief Executive Officer of Ventures, Landon empowers, equips, and strategizes with his team to aid Bitwise Industries’ portfolio company in meeting their goals. Prior to heading up the Ventures division of Bitwise, Landon was VP of sales and marketing for our technology services division for several years.
Before joining Bitwise, Landon spent two decades honing his aptitude in strategic marketing and high-level business development in the tech industry.
It was those formidable expertises that helped deliver record-breaking results to most of the organizations for which he’s worked. From venture start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Landon has had his sights set on one thing – seeing clients and team members achieving personal, professional and sustainable success. As Executive Director, his job is 1 part Visionary, 1 part Geek, and 2 parts Cat Wrangler, all of which he loves.
A business graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Landon has worked with powerhouse names like Boeing, DHL, ADP, and Accela, to name a few.
Follow Jeanáe DuBois
At the helm of an integrated 30+ member marketing team, Jeanáe DuBois builds and executes results-driven marketing strategies on every front including branding, client development, public relations, campaign development and planning for events drawing up to 50,000 attendees. She was instrumental in creating CenCal Dreamin’, the region’s first Salesforce User Community event of its kind outside of Northern and Southern California.
Jeanáe’s career spans several mid to large-sized agencies and industries. Her first position she accepted out of college was with a fledgling marketing company which she helped grow in the span of eleven years. Jeanáe herself grew and excelled from a client services executive to eventually Executive Vice President. During her tenure, that organization saw exponential growth becoming a recognizable market leader and expanded to four locations statewide. A proud graduate of California Polytechnic University, Jeanáe received her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) focused in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.
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Chief Data Operations Officer at Bitwise Industries, Kelly Meza is the bridge that connects departments in the Bitwise ecosystem with the necessary resources required to implement comprehensive workflow strategies. Kelly started at Bitwise in 2017 as a Controller in the finance department, and through her time here has come to truly value and understand the human-centered culture unique to Bitwise. She is driven to streamline interconnectivity throughout departments and employees to the benefit of the organization and the communities we serve. Kelly is here to find solutions. Her goal is ensuring that Bitwise has all of the data and information readily available to make sound decisions. When she’s not working Kelly enjoys exploring the beautiful outdoors, traveling the globe, and spending time with her partner Enrique, and three daughters, Claudia, Haunna, and Noemi.
As the Chief Real Estate Officer, Sandi Olguin oversees Real Estate Development for Bitwise Industries, including Bitwise’s internal maintenance, building operations, and tenant relations team. She leads these hard working folks in making sure every Bitwise building in each campus runs smoothly, including operational tasks like front desk staffing, janitorial services, repair/tenant improvements, and security. Her favorite part about working with Bitwise is the underestimated places they choose to invest in. “I love the potential – and the downtown skylines!” Sandi’s hardworking demeanor and “get it done” attitude is at the helm of every project, Whether that’s helping with tenant improvements or laying out the floor plans for our next expansion campus. In all that she does, Sandi is dedicated to “making a decision and making it work,” a famous quote from her mom. Outside of work, Sandi can be often found binge-watching true crime and murder documentaries.
They / Them / Theirs
Michelle Skoor teaches excluded people in underestimated places the skills they need to get a job in technology. In this way, Michelle is helping not only change lives, but change the face of the local workforce. As Chief Workforce Officer, Michelle and their team helps graduates find high-wage tech jobs in their own cities. Graduates from Bitwise Workforce Training often get hired by Bitwise Technology Services and get hands-on experience delivering excellent software and business solutions.
Previously, Michelle directed the Diverse Talent Program at Bitwise, partnering with tech and enterprise organizations to engage diverse, cost-efficient tech talent using a unique and proven apprenticeship model. Before becoming Bitwise’s Chief Workforce Officer, Michelle was Product Officer for Onward & PodUp, two Bitwise initiatives launched to provide support and resources to individuals and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Michelle enjoys watching NCAA women’s gymnastics and was 1990 Level 9 State Champion (Floor, All Around). But their most recent brush with fame is having the first queer marriage proposal story in Glamour magazine!
Stephen Andersen has over 20 years of experience helping nonprofits get the most from their Salesforce technology platforms. He brings that same passion to his role as Vice President of Salesforce Solutions at Bitwise Industries where he works in partnership with the Sales and Delivery departments at Bitwise to meet the needs of our clients. Stephens' team helps Bitwise generate the paid Salesforce work for the various teams in the Bitwise ecosystem to execute, while Salesforce Apprentices gain valuable real-world experience learning how to best serve our customers.
Stephen is a Salesforce expert who enjoys seeing organizations gain strategic day-to-day value and marketplace elevation from using Salesforce. However, he finds the most joy helping users and customers realize that their knowledge of Salesforce allows them greater power in their work and careers. With a focus on the future, Stephen envisions an ever-growing Salesforce Apprentice Alumni tree, with alumni branching out to successful careers where they contribute their Salesforce passion and knowledge to impactful organizations around the world.
As the Vice President of Bitwise Buffalo, CJ Banks oversees the operations and community development of our first Bitwise Industries campus on the East Coast. CJ Banks is a native of the Bronx and relocated to Buffalo eighteen years ago. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in early childhood development, a graduate certificate in mental health counseling, and is a certified instructor of Youth Mental Health First Aid—focused on training adults to assist youth in crisis. In CJ’s latest professional role, he served as the Director of Parenting and Youth Services at EPIC–Every Person Influences Children. Previous leadership roles included VP of Development and Communications for the Buffalo Urban League and prior to working in the nonprofit world, CJ worked in management in the retail industry.
In addition to his nonprofit and corporate experience, CJ Banks is an entrepreneur, having created and managed three successful companies including a marketing solutions enterprise, graphic/web design, and photography. Utilizing his experience in the music industry, CJ also built a recording studio in Buffalo. The purpose of this studio is to provide a safe, drug-free, and positive place for youth to record and cultivate their musical talent while learning life skills and key transferable workforce skills. CJ is a proud husband and father of eight children—five biological, two adopted through foster care, and a current foster father of one.
As Vice President of Creative Services, Celeste A. Barron oversees the day-to-day operations and production of the Creative Department within MarComm at Bitwise Industries. Celeste works closely with each creative team within MarComm to make sure the internal and external assets and collateral Bitwise produces are impactful and aligns with the Bitwise Industries brand image and ideals. From media production and content creation to design, web development, and traffic, Celeste manages day-to-day creative operations through conception, creation, execution, and delivery. Her goal is to create impactful work that not only communicates the heart of what Bitwise does, but showcases the humans in which it impacts.
Celeste began her career with Bitwise as a Marketing Manager for Shift3 Technologies in 2017, then later as Content Development Manager within MarComm. An award-winning copywriter and published poet, Celeste came to Bitwise with 20+ years of experience in the ad industry, freelancing for 10+ ad agencies and marketing entities in various roles ranging from senior copywriter, assistant creative director, marketing manager, social media manager, radio and TV commercial director/producer, and podcast host. When Celeste isn’t working, she sits on the governing board for the Prism Foundation, a bay area nonprofit that empowers the Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQIA+ community by raising critical funds and leveraging resources to build a more just and equitable society. She’s also heavily involved in volunteering for the Human Rights Campaign, Rotary 4 Guatemala, Out in Tech, SF Pride, and the Fresno Justice Coalition. Celeste holds a Bachelor of Art degree in English from California State University, Fresno.
If there’s an event happening on our Bitwise campuses, Talisha Brantley is probably nearby helping run the show! As the VP of Events for Bitwise Industries, Talisha oversees the Events team and helps create events that cultivate community, build and sustain the Bitwise ecosystem, and spread the Bitwise message to folks near and far. Formerly a Bitwise administrative assistant, Talisha’s role with Events allows her to give people a literal stage to share their art and amplify their message–especially when they wouldn’t have access or ability to do so elsewhere.
Bitwise events can range from a small educational workshop to huge concerts featuring Grammy-award winning artists. Talisha’s team always strives to put on kick-ass events that are both creative and inspire meaningful conversations, while helping strengthen the greater Bitwise community. Outside of work, Talisha enjoys playing video games, hanging out with her cat Basura Goose and pup Cecil, and also collecting enough plants to officially become a crazy plant lady.
As the VP of Bitwise Merced, Norma Cardona oversees the development of Bitwise’s new campus in Merced by meeting with all stakeholders including business partners, elected officials and, targeted beneficiaries of the apprenticeship programs in order to ensure its successful implementation. Norma hopes to infuse the Bitwise ecosystem in Merced’s local community and economy, while also helping those traditionally left out of the technology industry.
A native of Santa Maria, CA, Norma joined the Merced community while completing her undergraduate studies at UC Merced, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Cognitive Science. A lifelong advocate of education, Norma is excited to be working for an organization that has tailored educational opportunities to the needs of the community, specifically in the form of paid apprenticeship programs. When Norma isn’t working, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time at home with her partner and English bulldog.
As Vice President of Finance and Accounting at Bitwise Industries, Lizette Carranza is consistently amazed by the energy and professionalism put forth by the team she oversees. Whether it’s shopping for families in need during the start of the pandemic, or researching and obtaining tax incentives for the benefit of all, Lizette is making an impact. With one eye on the macro, and another on the micro, she and her team are on a mission to create budgets, forecasts, and quarterly reports which will help to ensure that Bitwise Industries is well prepared for any major projects already in motion or about to take off.
In 2013, Lizette remembered being at a crossroads. She was unsure of how to proceed after her job relocated to the bay area. She decided to go back to school, and earned her Masters of Science degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Now Lizette lives in Fresno, Calif. with her husband Tony, two daughters Neko and Lola, fifteen and nine years old respectively, and the family dog, Ash. After a long day of work, Lizette likes to unwind by caring for her tropical fish in their 65-gallon saltwater reef tank ecosystem—proving that maintaining a healthy ecosystem is something that comes natural to Carranza.
Vice President of Human Resource Operations, Kristina Cool orchestrates and assists in the logistics of nearly every aspect of the employment process at Bitwise Industries. From new employee onboarding processes, to the software systems used by the Human Resources Department, Kristina stays on top of everything, so that each employee feels as comfortable as possible while navigating around the Bitwise ecosystem. Kristina’s experience at Bitwise started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic while she was working as a temporary employee on the OnwardCA project. In the past two years, she’s had front-row seats to watch the exponential growth of Bitwise and says she feels grateful to be along for the adventure, and can’t wait to see where Bitwise will be in the next five years.
Located in Twisp, Washington, when Kristina isn’t working, she loves to be in the great outdoors hiking, Nordic skiing, cycling, paddling, wildcrafting, and as she puts it, “ sauntering aimlessly through the forest.” And if that’s not happening, you can bet on finding her with either a book in her hand or playing her harp.
Aimee Cubbage leads the Salesforce Strategy for Bitwise Industries’ technology services as the Senior Vice President of Salesforce Strategy & Practice. Her role includes creating opportunities for careers in the Salesforce ecosystem to further the Bitwise mission of building vibrant economies in underestimated cities. Overall, her department’s goal is to provide excellent services to Bitwise clients, and utilize those engagements to nurture new avenues for Bitwise apprentices to pursue fulfilling Salesforce careers.
Aimee accidentally ended up in technology as a technical writer after graduating with an English degree. She built upon that early experience and now, 25 years later, transformed that expertise into a career that focuses completely on establishing a foothold for others who haven’t had a traditional technology career path. Aimee’s favorite part of her role is building a team focused on helping others grow via mentorship, growth mindsets, and a sense of community. Aimee resides just north of Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and three boys, and enjoys baking, reading, mentoring, and spending time with family.
As Senior Vice President of Sales for Stria, a Bitwise Industries company, Jim Damian strives to move his mission of bringing digital transformation to businesses by using the right blend of people, processes, and technology. Jim will tell you that his superpower is helping people align around a common goal in a way that is fun and accessible. Having partnered with Bitwise on several projects as founder of Stria, Jim is more excited than ever to help bring about a better future for customers through technology.
After graduating with a Masters of Arts degree in social welfare, Jim found himself growing increasingly frustrated with the slow process of locating relevant documents and data during his time working with child protective services in Bakersfield. This experience eventually led him to found Stria in 2005, and put him firmly on the path of introducing technology services to customers to streamline their businesses. When Jim isn’t bringing about digital transformation, he enjoys working with all of the amazing people at Bitwise, participating in triathlons, and spending quality time with his family. For anybody wondering, Stria is an acronym for service, teamwork, respect, innovation, and accountability, which are all ideals and values that he and his team will continue to champion as part of the Bitwise ecosystem.
Renaldo DaSilva is responsible for building out and leading go-to-market strategy within our Salesforce Channel at Bitwise Industries. The efforts of Renaldo’s team aim to help provide career opportunities for underestimated communities that would otherwise not have a chance to get experience in the Salesforce space. The career potential in the tech field will allow more humans to change their lives and the lives of their families for generations. Renaldo’s team strives to create these jobs by helping schools, NGOs, foundations, state and local governments, as well as small businesses in these same communities—allowing all to leverage Salesforce technologies and run their organizations more efficiently.
Over the past two decades, Renaldo has been an entrepreneur with a passion for social justice, job creation, and technology. As the son of Caribbean parents who migrated to the U.S. with nothing, he feels he’s the embodiment of the people Bitwise aims to serve. Renaldo has been a nonprofit leader, chairman of the board for a charter school, job creator for underserved communities, and founder of ESOR consulting group. Renaldo lives in New Jersey with his wife Ayana and their three children: Joshua, Isaiah and Nia Rose.
John De Palm is Vice President of Customer Success for Bitwise Industries’ Salesforce Practice team. His focus is to ensure customers realize what value can come from the Salesforce platform; this includes engaging with those customers to develop vision and strategy, define KPIs, and bring in subject matter expertise to drive impactful outcomes. With a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from PACE University and eight Salesforce certifications, John’s acumen is only reinforced by his industry experience in media, publishing, and market research. Prior to Bitwise, John spent six-and-a-half years on the Salesforce.org Customer Success team. In his time at Salesforce.org, John helped some of the most renowned nonprofits and institutions of higher education in the North and Central Americas realize the true value that can come from the Salesforce platform.
John’s goals for the future of Bitwise include building a robust team of professionals working with a unified customer success model across its businesses. He hopes to see customer success driving the mitigation of attrition risks, and increasing overall customer satisfaction at all phases of the customer lifecycle. He strives to take a holistic view of the customer’s digital transformation goals and work with their executive stakeholders, project teams, and implementation partners to drive successful outcomes. Outside of work, John is a husband and father of three amazing daughters. He enjoys skiing and swimming, along with ballroom dancing, amateur acting, and he is a performing stand-up comedian.
Bryan Feil serves as the VP of Real Estate Development at Bitwise Industries, overseeing the coworking, building development, and hospitality teams. Bryan assistants in locating, designing, and identifying architectural partners for each Bitwise Real Estate project. He especially enjoys being able to help Bitwise’s city expansion projects and revitalizing downtowns through growth and development.
Bryan Feil grew up in Bakersfield, CA with the desire to use business as a tool to impact lives. That passion took its first form in co-founding and developing Neighborhood Industries, an organization focused on operating businesses that reveal value in people so that they can be a positive contributor in their community. Outside of the office, Bryan can be found spending time with his lovely wife, Kim, and their two children, Cora and Reid.
As VP of Bitwise Bakersfield, Natasha focuses on cultivating relationships in diverse communities and strengthening partnerships that ignite the Bitwise Industries brand within Kern County. This includes nonprofits, educational institutions, residents, private partnerships and all other public entities. Natasha also oversees the Bitwise Bakersfield campus, managing multiple projects while ensuring we’re creating a space that is diverse, inclusive, and progressive.
Natasha first encountered Bitwise Industries in 2017 when she attended a work meeting at the Bitwise Hive in Fresno, and immediately knew something similar was necessary in Bakersfield. Her hope is that in five years time, Kern County will be known for leading the advancement of career development and opportunities in technology, with Bitwise Bakersfield clearing the path for wider apprenticeship tracks and increased partnerships. In her free time, Natasha enjoys serving on a variety of nonprofit boards, longboarding, and caring for rescue pups in and around her community.
Scott Garrison knows all about investing in potential. As Vice President of Sales for Stria, a Bitwise Industries company, Scott continues to source, qualify, connect, and reconnect with potential and existing customers with the goal of keeping Bitwise on the path of exponential growth. Before accepting his position in the Bitwise ecosystem, Scott was a co-owner at Stria, and an early investor in Bitwise. He hopes to play a major role in taking Bitwise public in the future, and loves the fact that his team can give more people a chance to succeed through creating more jobs.
Scott Graduated from California State University, Bakersfield with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, and according to Scott–after miserably failing his California Board of Accountancy exam, he knew that he was destined to become a sales superstar. When he isn’t being a sales superstar, Scott enjoys spending time with his kids and grandkids, traveling with his wife, and wine tasting. He also volunteers as a Dare to Dream mentor with the Bakersfield Angels, and wants to remind people to love one another.
As Vice President of New Economies, Mike Green helps to establish Relational Commercial Readiness (RCR) in prospective underestimated cities to support Bitwise Industries’ expansion efforts. In his years as a Navy recruiter, he noticed the consistent gaps in academic outcomes for students of color and studied the challenges and opportunities that students of color faced across the socioeconomic spectrum. This manifested into a passion to change the system of learning so that every student at every age–regardless of background, individuality, or socioeconomic status–could embark on a path of their dreams with equitable access to opportunities. The work Mike is doing at Bitwise aligns with his mission to increase the productivity of the most vulnerable populations in a tech-based, globally competitive, innovation economy.
In his spare time outside of Bitwise, Mike and his wife co-facilitate Common Ground Conversations on Race in America with school districts, city leadership, police departments, and other community organizations. He and his wife reside in Central Point, Oregon.
Aryca Gordon leads our Student Success Specialist and Instructor Success Teams in her role as Vice President of Pre-apprentices. She works towards creating an environment that builds their confidence as leaders who work to support students, instructors, teaching assistants, and apprentices. Her teams understand the importance of the work they do to build relationships with the people they serve, and connect them to life changing opportunities at Bitwise.
Aryca was introduced to the Bitwise ecosystem through a membership at our cowork space, which she utilized in a previous role. After working for Bitwise Industries’ Onward project, Aryca transitioned into her current role. Her favorite part of working at Bitwise is being able to help folks carve out space in careers they never imagined themselves in—like the technology industry. Her goal is to show folks they deserve a seat, help them pursue it, and make sure they know how much they matter to the profession they enter. When she’s not working, Aryca is spending time with her family—sons Maurice and Alexander, daughter Aev’h, and grandmother Dolly.
If you ask Thilani Grubel what her goal is in the next ten years, she’ll tell you she wants to “do good and solve problems.” This may be an oversimplification, as what she really means is advocating for the underserved and underrepresented communities prevalent everywhere, but namely—in Fresno. Whether finding solutions to homelessness or access to opportunity, Thilani has her eyes set on human advocacy. And her role as VP of Bitwise Fresno is how she’s forging a path to begin that important work.
As VP of Bitwise Fresno, Thilani listens to the voices of the Fresno community and engages in conversations with local representatives and businesses to find ways to continue providing opportunities in technology and growing Fresno’s economy. In her spare time, you can find Thilani hiking or kayaking with her husband and daughter—or even more likely thinking of reasons to avoid going for a run.
Hannibal Guerrero serves as the VP of Strategic Channel Partnerships for Bitwise Industries, developing and delivering partnerships with large organizations that can deliver multi-city and vertical client engagements. His overall goal is to drive profitable revenue at scale with large strategic partners, not only in the US but also around the world.
Hannibal states his favorite part of his role is the incredible privilege and honor of positively impacting people’s professional trajectory—creating significant positive effects for their own lives, families, and communities around them. When he’s not working, Hannibal enjoys traveling and spending time with his four daughters: Nicolette, Francesca, Isabella, and Gabriella.
As the VP of Salesforce Services and Delivery, Rachel Hands leads the Salesforce consultant teams that provide managed services to Bitwise Industries customers, and guides cohorts of Bitwise Apprentices through the first year of their Salesforce journeys. Her team serves two major purposes: effective Salesforce support that advances client missions, strategies, and goals, and uplifting apprentices as they acquire the necessary skills to build successful careers in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Rachel cites the favorite part of her role at Bitwise as leading our team of Salesforce experts to help deliver top-notch services. This professional experience aligns with her personal mission to create equitable, effective workplaces. Currently, Rachel is the Vice President on the Board of Amplify, an organization dedicated to getting folks from historically excluded backgrounds into leadership roles in the technology industry. Also, she volunteers as a peer counselor with Empower Work, a free counseling text/web chat service for anyone experiencing challenges at work. When she’s not working, Rachel enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her cat, Rosa, who is the “Chief Nap Officer” of her apartment.
As Vice President of Delivery, Miaka Hardcastle manages the Delivery Team, including directors and leads who oversee the development efforts of our technology services. The Delivery Team provides wrap-around support for our clients, projects, and teams through architecture, design, development, quality assurance, project management. Each Director works with their team to ensure that everyone involved has an understanding of the workflows, processes, tasks, blockers, and goals for successful outcomes. Miaka’s approach to leadership of this team is focused on building a center of excellence, and creating an environment of representation, inclusivity, culture, and ultimately a space where people feel empowered.
Miaka first encountered Bitwise Industries while working at a marketing & design agency that was a tenant in Bitwise South Stadium, located in downtown Fresno, CA. Her company supported Bitwise’s design and creative efforts, before the creation of the MarComm (marketing and communications) team within the company itself. Miaka’s favorite part of her role at Bitwise is the people she works with—she is always supported in facing challenges, newness, or stretching herself beyond her comfort zone. Outside of work, Miaka enjoys traveling with husband, Josh, and pup, Opie. Her other hobbies include grocery shopping, cooking, and defending her title as “Rap Battle Karaoke Champion” at Beach House Deli.
Chris Hawkins, Vice President of Revenue Risk Management at Bitwise Industries, has 25 years of experience building teams and scaling profitable operations. His superpower, though, is eliminating whatever risks may stand in the way of closing or delivering on client engagements. He’s successfully completed projects for companies as large as Fortune 500 and as small as mom-and-pop shops. He’s also a steady hand on a crisis project or a client management conundrum, and believes in unlocking the potential of people to transform operations.
Chris is experienced in the Microsoft stack of technologies–Windows, ASP.NET (both C# and VB.NET) WebForms and MVC, SQL Server (and SSRS), SharePoint and even older tech like ASP 3.0 and VB6. Chris is the author of many things, including the book “Conquering Client Conflict” and numerous industry articles. He is a podcast host and a frequent guest on podcasts whose focus is on the consulting business. Chris is a man who likes to keep himself busy; his favorite quote is, "No such thing as spare time, free time, or down time. All you have is life time. Go."
As Senior Vice President of New Economies at Bitwise Industries, Johnathan leads commercialization and expansion into underdog cities across the U.S. Prior to Bitwise, Johnathan served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Advisor of the White House Domestic Policy Council from 2017 to 2021. He is co-founder of ScaleUp Partners LLC and authored The Future Economy and Inclusive Competitiveness: How Demographic Trends and Innovation Can Create Shared Prosperity for All Americans.
A few of Johnathan’s achievements Include securing more than $40M of funding support, creating Ohio’s first information technology-focused high school, forming a $40M venture capital fund of funds, and enabling a $250M network of regional, early-stage risk capital. Holifield holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in Educational Foundations, and law degree from University of Cincinnati. He is also a graduate of The University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.
Vice President of Information Technology Kevin Keo is responsible for implementing, designing, and supporting the IT systems, web-based applications, cybersecurity, and infrastructure at Bitwise Industries. Kevin and his team are at the forefront of streamlining workflow processes in the Bitwise IT department and throughout the Bitwise ecosystem. He considers himself lucky to lead a team of caring and motivated professionals, and wants every Bitwise employee and department to have the best available resources to achieve their objectives.
As Vice President of External Affairs, Laura Maristany leads Bitwise Industries’ outreach and partnerships with government and community organizations to build tech economies in underestimated cities. She is a seasoned advocate and community builder with extensive Capitol Hill and policymaking experience. Before joining Bitwise, Laura served as Associate Director for Constructive Politics at Democracy Fund, where she created and carried out the foundation’s constructive politics strategy to explore what unites us while helping institutions that govern become more diverse, inclusive, and better able to serve all Americans.
Laura has led advocacy and coalition-building strategies as head of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) DC office, Executive Director of Legislative Affairs at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and her work in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a thought partner and leader, she has helped launch several startup organizations with a focus on strengthening capacity and infrastructure to promote inclusive systems across sectors. Laura also currently serves on Welcoming America’s board of Directors and is an advisory council member for Millennial Action Project’s Leadership Development Council and Representative Democracy. Laura is a GMF 2018 Memorial Fellow, and a recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit bestowed by the Spanish Crown. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus and a master’s degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University.
As the Senior Vice President of Revenue Management, Ryan McCallum oversees processes that drive successful client experiences with Bitwise Industries’ services. Ryan manages the plans that achieve revenue results and client outcomes by operationalizing the sales organization and service lines. With a background in IT service management, he brings considerable expertise in managed service partnerships and client account management across several verticals, including: healthcare, insurance, nonprofit, and transportation.
Ryan has significant product management expertise, including: Agile product development, product and go-to-market strategy, finance, and operations. Prior to coming to Bitwise he served the nation’s leading educational assessment and research organization first as the Senior Director of Digital Solutions, and then the VP of Product Management.
As the Vice President of Salesforce Marketing and Communications at Bitwise Industries, Toni Martin develops the tactics and strategies for how Bitwise markets our Salesforce efforts. Toni relishes the opportunity to help underestimated individuals find easier pathways and opportunities to pursue careers in the tech industry. Also, she loves to help businesses maximize their effectiveness by leveraging Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) resources.
Through implementing a repeatable model of success, Toni is on a mission to drive revenue and sales generation in an upward trajectory to the benefit of our clients. She wants Bitwise to be the premier Salesforce Apprenticeships to the hiring pipeline organization. “I always say Salesforce changed my life by giving me prosperity, career success, personal fulfillment, and lifelong friends. That's saying a lot for a CRM tool!” When Toni isn’t busy being an All-Star in the corporate world, you might find her on the golf course, line dancing in the club, or playing tennis.
Lili Mireles joins the team as the VP of Bitwise El Paso, where she leads our company’s efforts to build a more inclusive and accessible tech community across far west Texas. Lili hopes to use her role to uplift El Paso and the border community by making sure conversations around tech are inclusive of the border perspective, focusing on creating a space that is welcoming, innovative, and reflective of their community.
As the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation Texan, Lili has a deep sense of appreciation for hard work and sacrifice from those who came before her. She feels privileged to be in a position to be able to serve others, and hopes that leading the Bitwise El Paso team helps more individuals find jobs, opportunities, and long-term success for all. When she’s not working, Lili enjoys volunteering with different immigrant and refugee advocacy groups, and spending time with her husband, César, and dog, Jefe.
As the Vice President of Apprenticeships, Stephanie Moreno leads the effort to holistically support each and every student in our apprenticeship program. As individuals navigate through all phases of the apprenticeship journey, she leads a team that connects each one with the resources and support they need to succeed. Stephanie’s goal is to ensure each person truly feels that “No one belongs here more than you.”
A former Bitwise student herself, Stephanie has the unique perspective of understanding the journey of the individuals as they start their new path in the tech industry. She is dedicated to underserved populations—empowering them to find their voice and advocate for themselves. Stephanie loves connecting great humans with their next steps in technology—whether at Bitwise or beyond. Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel, and her four children.
As the Vice President of Tenant Relations at Bitwise Industries, Michelle Morse is at the helm of making sure our tenant community is well taken care of. She oversees the Leasing, Property Management, and Reception teams, as well as handling intraoffice logistics throughout each Bitwise building on our different campuses. Michelle and her teams help bring the Bitwise experience to the communities we serve in our physical spaces, going above and beyond to care for each tenant that calls Bitwise home.
Michelle cites the favorite part of her role is being able to share and bring “the Bitwise way” to all of our tenants, visitors, and cities we serve. That hospitality and No One Belongs Here More Than You mentality is intentional to provide a safe, welcoming, and comfortable environment to the tenants and guests at Bitwise. Outside of the office, you can often find Michelle hanging out with her pups, tending to her plants, or watching The Golden Girls.
As Vice President of Human Resources, Benefits and Compliance, Liz Negrete is here to make sure that everyone in the Bitwise ecosystem is making the most from the groundbreaking benefits and financial assistance that Bitwise Industries offers to its employees. Liz loves working with her team to assist fellow employees, and strongly believes in the importance of self-care and routine check-ins to ensure that everyone is comfortable and bringing their best selves into work.
Liz has seen her department grow exponentially in the past two years, and hopes that in the next five years Bitwise’s mission of delivering resources and training to underestimated individuals will continue to grow and be an accessible tool for positive change in underserved communities around the country. When Liz isn’t helping employees discover and learn about all the amazing benefits at Bitwise, she enjoys painting with her daughter, dancing, hiking, and riding off-road on an all-terrain vehicle. She also owns two Nigerian Dwarf goats.
Santana Olguin is at the helm of our teams at Bitwise who keep our buildings running smoothly. As the VP of Building Services, Santana oversees the Tenant Improvement, Security, Fleet, Procurement, and Janitorial departments—focused on maintaining facilities, service, and infrastructure at the highest levels. He cites his favorite part of working for Bitwise is how valued he feels–not just as an employee, but as a person first.
A native of Carauthers, CA, Santana began his career at Bitwise as a contracted worker, and then was hired as a member of the Tenant Improvement Staff. Now, he oversees the teams who help provide a clean, safe, and well-maintained environment for our tenants and team. Outside of work, Santana can be found spending time with his wife, Jeanine, and their three beautiful children, Isabella, Logan, and Maverick—usually over a plate of his famous home-cooked BBQ!
As Vice President of Human Resources (HR) at Bitwise Industries, Adriana Orozco leads the People Team within the HR department, and supports the “People Officers” who support the rest of the employees and apprentices in the Bitwise ecosystem; ensuring that employees are given the available resources to be at their best throughout their Bitwise journey. Adriana loves to help people, and is grateful to work with a team that is full of love, care, and compassionate support.
Adriana lives in Fresno, California where she’s happy to share the workplace with her twin sister, Ariana, as well as her sister, Laura. When she’s not working, Adriana enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, trying new restaurants and cocktail bars, watching Korean television dramas–Adriana reads Korean–and has been known to go all out on karaoke night.
Miranda Ragland is the Vice President of Internal Salesforce Implementation and Support, and oversees Bitwise Industries’ internal use of Salesforce programming and application. She works with our team of executives, along with our Data Team, to define operational priorities—while assisting our implementation support teams in developing and refining solutions that empower all of Bitwise’s departments. Her team is the central hub that supports the custom solutions development that empowers each department within Bitwise to succeed.
Miranda’s favorite part of her role is being able to step into a management position, with the ultimate goal of getting Bitwise as close to 100% user adoption and satisfaction as possible. Her hope is to grow Bitwise’s expertise in Salesforce, creating a place where people want to come work because of a reputation for quality and how we treat our team. When she’s not helping make our internal departments’ job easier, Miranda enjoys cheering on the Los Angeles Dodgers and spending time with her cat, Ms. Petunia. Miranda is a proud transgender woman, and wholeheartedly believes in the power of visibility.
As Vice President of Workforce Programs, Danita Ramos oversees the team and the day-to-day operations of Bitwise’s apprenticeship programs that help underestimated cities develop a diverse local workforce and helps underserved people reach their potential through discovery, hard work, and individualized attention. She also collaborates with new and existing partners to create programs for both pre-apprentice students and apprenticeship pathways. “With our guidance and training, in a community where everyone belongs, we build a diverse pipeline of students and apprentices. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we do,” says Danita. She also works alongside Bitwise’s government, philanthropy, and revenue teams to create programs for new and existing clients.
Previously, Danita spent ten years in public education, serving students from rural Fresno as a classroom teacher and also as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Monroe Elementary. She has experience in curriculum framework design and integrated teaching and learning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in administrative services.
Tina Robertson leads Bitwise’s public-private partnership team with an eye toward reaching underrepresented communities and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the local workforce. Her effectiveness is in part thanks to an illustrious sales career in which she closed billion-dollar projects for a Fortune 500 telecommunications company and serviced the needs of global IT giants including HP, Google, Cisco, Oracle, Facebook, and Yahoo.
Tina believes technology has the ability to make the world a better place. Ask her to name her favorite thing about her underdog city, she’ll tell you: “I see smart people everywhere, willing, wanting and ready to roll up their sleeves and make a difference.” Tina facilitates workshops that empower women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. When Tina isn’t working, you can find her cycling, hiking, or picnicking with family, friends, and her dog. Tina Robertson holds an AA degree from Los Rios Community College and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University.
As Vice President of Bitwise Chicago, Ayoka Noelle Mota Samuels ensures that the residents of Southside Chicago and beyond have access to-and take advantage of-the support, services, and opportunities Bitwise Industries provides. This work includes serving and partnering with a whole host of stakeholders, such as families, business owners, and community organizations–all committed to making this vision a reality. Ayoka earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Illinois, followed by a Master of Non-Profit Management from Spertus Institute. Her goal within Bitwise Chicago is to improve the quality of life for Southsiders, with a specific focus on those from Black and Latinx communities. Through Bitwise, she hopes to create another path for families that have suffered extreme disinvestment over several decades.
Ayoka’s investment in her community started from a young age and has shaped her into the leader she is today. From being involved with the Girl Scouts of America to being 4-H President, she has learned the power and positivity of youth development opportunities. Her community involvement extends to board memberships at Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Chicago Community Chorus, and Leadership Fellows Association of Leadership: Greater Chicago. Apart from her community involvement, Ayoka loves travel, jigsaw puzzles, and singing in the community chorus. She and her husband, Miguel Mota Castro, share a son named Eriks.
As the Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Janelle Sanders oversees the entire Human Resources department at Bitwise Industries, handling guidance and oversight on everything from onboarding new hires to everyday administrative tasks. Janelle’s goal is to ensure every single Bitwise team member feels a sense of belonging from the minute they join our team—and through every step along the way during their entire time with us.
Before a career in Human Resources found her, Janelle lived in Nashville, Tennessee with dreams of being a songwriter, so she knows a thing or two about the importance of being in harmony. The Bitwise employee experience is a unique one, and Janelle works with her team to make sure that each individual employee feels at home in their respective departments, while also propelling the company forward to new places and people. When she’s not working, Janelle enjoys baking with her kids, playing board games with her family, and her new hobby of gardening!
As Vice President of Product and Solutions at Bitwise Industries, Heather Schrage and her team ensure that our technology services product offerings and solutions continue to provide value and meet the current market demands for clients. The main objective for the product and solutions teams at Bitwise is securing sales for Bitwise custom tech solutions. Heather’s department plays a critical role in the Bitwise ecosystem, not only acting as a bridge to connect the sales and delivery teams, but also serve as the primary means in which our clients can communicate their needs and translate them into custom tech solutions.
Heather is driven by the remarkable human-centered culture here at Bitwise. She loves coming into work everyday to see her colleagues help each other to reach their full potential. Growing up on a farm in South Central Iowa, Heather wasn’t sure of what she wanted to do once she got to college. It was the generosity and interest of one of her college professors that gave her the motivation she needed to try something new. That singular act of kindness and support dramatically affected the trajectory of Heather's life, and she does her best to pay it forward everyday through backing her fellow Bitwisers. Heather lives in Tiffin, Iowa with her husband Doug, two daughters Samantha and Alexandra, her son Broday, and the family’s mini-Aussie mix Lola. She loves organizing trips for her friends and family, and showing up for her children's athletic and creative endeavors.
Oakland-based Vice President of Well-Being at Bitwise Industries, Karen Scott, is one of those rare people who understands and empathizes with the shared human experience in a way that is few and far between. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find an individual better suited to champion the groundbreaking directive that Bitwise places on caring and advocating for its employees. Karen and her team are passionate about creating safe spaces, and conditions that allow people to reach their fullest selves. She wants all of her fellow Bitwisers to feel seen, and connected to something that values their own unique experiences and insights.
Karen’s experience working as an occupational therapist for fifteen years in a treatment facility built to support individuals living with severe brain injuries, illuminated in her the essence of what it means to live a human experience. As she says, “all humans share the fundamental desires to be loved, to belong, and to have value.” Karen found that even in the most constrained environment, those core desires could be fulfilled with relatively simple actions. Something as simple as the Bitwise motto, “Nobody belongs here more than you,” goes a long way to build morale. When Karen started at Bitwise Industries as the Director of Bitwise Oakland, she was fully invested in raising awareness in the community, and being open about the need to advocate for the mental health of every individual. When she’s not busy being a champion for mental health and wellness, Karen enjoys gardening, making kokedamas, and spending time with her family.
Kennan Scott is in charge of adapting the Bitwise ecosystem to fit Oakland’s authentic DNA. This includes training, apprenticeships, and jobs in software design, sales and more. Previously, looking to empower a new generation of black and brown engineers, Kennan launched the West Oakland MS Engineering and computer science department and supported curricular and professional development for teachers, in addition to being a founder of CODEd Academy, a proposed interdisciplinary computer science school in Oakland, which is focused on connecting students of color to technology-related jobs in the Bay Area.
He partnered with public, private, and nonprofit entities to expand work-based learning and career opportunities for Oakland’s youth while managing the district-wide vision of ensuring over 3,000 students receive high-quality, 6-12 computer science instruction. At Bitwise, Kennan can now help OUSD students get jobs in tech, the very ones he taught how to code in 8th grade. Kennan won both the 2019 Golden State Warriors Impact Award and the 2019 State of Black Education Educator Award. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a focus on transportation and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
Miles Sebesta is the Vice President of Skunkworks, a small internal team with the sole purpose of rapidly deploying research and development projects that fall outside of the traditional scope of Bitwise Industries’ technology services. The new technologies that the Skunkworks team establishes align with Bitwise’s business values and growth plans, to move the Bitwise mission forward, one project at a time. With a Bachelor’s degree in Technocultural Studies from the University of California, Davis, Miles has seen firsthand the difference it makes to have access to education and how that can transform families and communities.
From a young age, his mother and father worked as a team to lift their family out of poverty by working late nights, tag-teaming care for the family, with his mother being the first of his family to attend, and complete, college. Seeing how her dedication helped empower his family to grow economically opened Miles’ eyes to the difference that can be made by accessible education opportunities. For Miles, what makes his job at Bitwise so special is working with the incredible people who create incredible change. When he’s not working, Miles enjoys playing disc golf and chess, and is also involved with organizations like City Without Orphans and Visalia’s Neighborhood Church.
As Vice President of Bitwise Toledo, LeSean Shaw oversees the daily operations of Bitwise Industries’ Toledo, Ohio team. As vice president, he cultivates and curates strong community relationships in both the public and private sectors to create pathways toward the growth and advancement of employment opportunities for Toledo citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Overall, his goal in leading the Bitwise Toledo team is to create and leverage solid relationships to build bridges and identify innovative ways to reach, teach, and uplift underestimated and overlooked communities in Toledo and beyond.
LeSean has served on the Workforce Development Board, is a Re-Entry Development Initiative (REDI) committee member, and is a former Leadership Toledo board member. He volunteers in his community as a coach for local children’s recreational sports and has also volunteered at Madd Poets Society, a local nonprofit literary arts program. When he’s not watching movies or traveling, he’s spending time with family. He and his wife of 13 years, Brittany, have four children–Alivia, Aiden, Aliyah, and Avery. Not to be forgotten is their beloved family cat, Margo (aka Mittens).
Senior Vice President of City Expansion at Bitwise Industries, Tammi Sherman leverages her expertise and experience to develop relationships with key stakeholders to find innovative ways to collaborate with our partners. Tammi’s unique management style is both invigorating and uplifting, and she fully believes in the Bitwise mission of making the tech industry more accessible for people living in underestimated communities. She is the championing voice for equity and inclusion within Bitwise and the underserved communities of Toledo, Ohio where she calls home.
Before joining the Bitwise family in 2021, Tammi cultivated an extensive array of work experience in management skills and training in Toledo. Before accepting her role at Bitwise, Tammi enjoyed a 19-year career with Walmart as a District Optical Manager and eventually, Regional Optical Director. She also found the time to earn her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management in 2012. When she’s not being a corporate sensation, Tammi enjoys spending quality time with her family whom she loves dearly, playing the violin, and roller skating.
Madison Shrader is the Vice President of Administrative Support at Bitwise Industries, overseeing a team of almost 40 executive assistants whose job it is to help Bitwise leadership with daily operations. Madison helps train and support the executive assistant team in managing the leadership team’s daily logistics, from travel to scheduling. With a bachelor’s degree in communications from Fresno Pacific University, and a lifelong background in ministry that influences her lead with a gracious heart, it is deeply embedded within her nature to be a helper.
For Madison, it’s not about numbers and spreadsheets, it’s about interacting daily with real humans and supporting them as best as she can. Madison started as an executive assistant for Bitwise Technology Services and has been in the ecosystem for over three years. When she’s not working, she’s doting on her cats–George, Winston, and Buggy–or on a walk listening to a podcast or audiobook. Her volunteer experience includes working with an organization called Free Arts of Arizona, a group that helps bring the arts to at-risk youth, or kids who would otherwise not have access.
As Vice President of Hiring, Brittany Stevens is tasked with meeting and connecting with people interested in working at Bitwise Industries, and doing her best to match them to a department suited to their unique talents.
As a main participant in the hiring and overseeing of the highly valuable and perpetually busy Executive Assistants at Bitwise, Brittany already has extensive experience interviewing and hiring new employees in the Bitwise ecosystem. She is often the first introduction to the Bitwise culture to prospective team members, and loves getting to learn about so many people during the interview process. Brittany is dedicated to fostering pathways into the technology industry for individuals living in and around Bitwise cities, and will continue to grow the Bitwise family in a smart and sustainable way. Outside of work, Brittany is often hanging out with her sweet kitty cat fosters.
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Adriana Soto is dedicated to helping individuals from underserved communities realize their full potential. As Senior Vice President of Workforce Training at Bitwise Industries, Adriana plays a vital role in the mission of making careers in tech more accessible to people from all walks of life. Getting to connect with so many amazing individuals every day, and actually making a difference in their lives is the kind of life-changing work that brings a contagious joy to Adriana and her team, fueling her passion for creating more opportunities.
Adriana is perpetually grateful to her parents for their strength and character which they instilled in her. She remembers working with her father during summer vacation, and learning firsthand what a hard day's work was all about. She also fondly recalls the natural grace and strength that would emanate from her mother every day, despite being diagnosed with a neurological disease. Her happy place is always on a beach with family and their household fur baby, Dobby. If you ask her what motto she lives by, Adriana will most likely reply with the wisdom of Dori from the Disney film Finding Nemo, and tell you to “just keep swimming.”
As Senior Vice President of City Expansion, Amy is in charge of helping to shape the Bitwise ecosystem to fit the personalities of every expansion city we embark upon. She oversees planning for all expansion campuses, ensuring we’re creating spaces that are diverse, inclusive, and progressive in each new Bitwise city. Amy helps cultivate relationships between Bitwise and communities in each expansion location. This includes nonprofits, educational institutions, residents, private partnerships and all other public entities.
Amy helps ensure all lines of business are working together to best benefit the company and each new expansion city. She also has a confession: “My dream job would be as the starting forward for the Women’s National Soccer team,” says Amy. “But since that train has passed, I figure the next best thing would be to create possibilities for people here at home.” Today, Amy resides in Bakersfield with her wife, Michelle, and their twins. She holds a Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University.
Trevor Thomas-Uribe energizes capital formation and corporate strategy for Bitwise Industries. He also helps to identify, invest in, and support promising new regional businesses within the Bitwise ecosystem. Trevor takes pride in working one on one with founders and helping them meet goals such as getting a fundraise closed, finding and securing a new hire, or even something as basic as putting together a solid pitch deck or sorting out a new business model.
Trevor serves as an advisor to Kern Venture Group and Listing Alert and serves on the boards of Atlas Alpha, 59DaysOfCode, and Kolyde. He was also named among the 40 under 40: Tech Diversity—Silicon Valley. In his spare time, you’ll find Trevor riding motorcycles or training in capoeira and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He holds an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business, an M.Eng. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. from Morgan State University.
Chrystine Villarreal’s position as VP of Philanthropy is the logical extension of a career dedicated to creating structural change for working families in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Previously, Chrystine undertook business development for AnitaB.org, the organization that created the largest annual convening of female and non-binary community members in tech. She was the president at Mixhalo, a startup that patented a new wireless technology protocol and built a diverse staff and inclusive culture.
Chrystine was instrumental in curating content, as well as developing new standards for tracking and measuring diversity for TechCrunch’s major events, she was responsible for establishing relationships with supporters and championed a mission to empower underserved youth through entrepreneurship BUILD.org, and she evaluated entrepreneurs in technology, media, social media, and clean tech sectors for Khosla Ventures. Chrystine is the proud mother to four beautiful boys–Carlitos, Joaquin, Daniel, and Emiliano–and a fortunate wife to her husband, Carlos.
As Vice President of Marketing Strategy at Bitwise Industries, Nina Waste oversees the Strategy team within the MarComm department to develop marketing strategies that support the various lines of business at Bitwise. The Strategy team creates and executes marketing campaigns that help build a strong and consistent brand for Bitwise through a wide range of online and offline marketing channels–all in hopes that Bitwise can continue to uplift folks from underserved populations and give them a seat at the table.
As a first generation immigrant, Nina spent most of her adolescence trying to assimilate to what was viewed as “All American,” but now has prioritized being loudly proud of her culture and who she is as a person. Being part of a company that is aggressively inclusive and promotes a culture of acceptance and belonging gives her a purpose in continuing her work so that people from all backgrounds feel empowered to be proud of where they come from and who they are, too. When Nina isn’t working, she’s exploring the outdoors, traveling, and trying different cuisines. She also enjoys hanging with her husband, son, and her pup, as well as fervently campaigning that pineapple pizza is top tier–if thinking that is wrong, she doesn’t want to be right.
Ginger Coletta Whalen is the Vice President of Partnerships and Alliances, specifically within the Salesforce ecosystem. Her job as Vice President is to lead a team who will extend the Bitwise Industries’ mission into the Salesforce ecosystem with a human and community-first approach. Ginger received her Bachelor of Business Administration, with an emphasis in international business and language area studies, from St. Norbert College and Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. As a former employee of Salesforce, and recently the Director of Partnerships for a Salesforce software partner. Ginger learned about Bitwise while working amongst Salesforce partners and was immediately drawn to the mission of unlocking technology opportunities for typically overlooked humans.
Ginger is passionate about the opportunity to crack open and nurture a partner ecosystem that fuels job placement of apprentices while connecting Bitwise to partners who add to, and deepen, the core mission. She is a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico and is a service-human to her five-year-old sheepdog, KoKo. With a large extended family full of siblings, nieces, and nephews in her hometown of Chicago, Ginger is delightfully devoted and spends time with them as often as possible. She has been involved as a member of STEM Santa Fe and Doctors Without Borders.
Tessa Williamson has been a part of the Bitwise ecosystem since its inception; she was originally contracted to name the entity that came to be Bitwise Industries, Shift3 Technologies, and Geekwise Academy! Now as the Creative Director, she oversees the Creative team to consistently convey the brand that is uniquely Bitwise. From website design to email campaigns, the branding of Bitwise Industries is both intricate and intentional. Tessa’s leadership ensures each facet of the Bitwise brand communicates our mission and goals, whether big or small.
Tessa has spent over 20 years in the Marketing and Creative industry. Her favorite part of being Bitwise’s Creative Director is the ever changing projects and eclectic creatives who collaborate together to complete them. Tessa’s goal is to bring ideas to life and convey the heart of Bitwise to as many people as possible. Outside of work, Tessa enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, Mason and Cadence, as well as her beloved fur baby, Zoey.
Our philosophy is simple: we’re better together. What makes us distinctly Bitwise Industries is our ability to be humans. Yes, we’re technology professionals pioneering a crucial tech movement, but at the heart of our mission, we’re all just humans. We’re professional, passionate, and fiercely mission-driven. We strive for authenticity and representation in tech for all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, and genders. We believe this ideology precedes our success and leads us into future accomplishments.
Traditionally, our apprentices come from communities that are overlooked and underserved. However, their zip code has no bearing on their personal ability to thrive in a tech career. In fact, since we recognize so much potential in those communities, we strive to nurture that talent and provide opportunities for them to become full-time team members with Bitwise Industries.
A living wage should be just that, a wage that allows an employee to prosper in their life because they are afforded the opportunity to provide beyond life’s essentials of food and shelter. Bitwise Industries is changing the landscape of employee wages by providing our staff with competitive wages at time of hire. Employee benefits include full health, dental, and vision coverage for the entire family (including pets) and numerous supplementary benefits that cover financial planning, mental health, life coaching, and litigation. The “perks” of employment at Bitwise Industries is comprehensive. But so is life. And our employees matter.
This is a collection of stories centered on what makes Bitwise Industries special; our humans. Read on to get a
glimpse of who we are, where we’ve come from, what we do, and why we’re inspired to push boundaries in our
organization and in our communities.
Making the world a better place is a massive team effort. Thankfully, we have a huge team at Bitwise. We’re known for our great work in all things technology, but that hard work is done with purpose—because our entire team is focused on reframing the generational history of the underestimated humans who live in the cities we serve. We dream big, so they can dream, too.